Monday August 17 – the daily story

The main headlines

A fascinating day of intrigue centred on the inauguration ceremony for Ayatollah Sedeq Amoli Larijani, the new Head of Judiciary, in which Ayatollah Rafsanjani and President Ahmadinejad were in the same room together (nay, just a seat apart!) for the first time since the post-election troubles blew up. Fars news agency has published intriguing photographs of the event which will have Iran-watchers pouring over them for the body language. That’s not  so easy when you have the false politeness that is “taaroff”, a clear example of which is the supposedly cheery exchange between the two protagonists. But it is possibly significant that Rafsanjani is pictuired in such a positive light. Also note Mohsen Rezai, the beaten presidential candidate and outspoken critic of the post-elecvtion detentions, in the front row. link, link

— Reports suggest Ahmadinejad was more than an hour late for the ceremony and left shortly after making his speech, and before he could sit back and listen to Rafsanjani returning to his theme of law and order, and Larijani himself vowing to prosecute those who  had ignored the rights of the people. For his part, Ahmadinejad spoke of prosecuting certain “power holders and affluent”, which was taken as another swipe at Rafsanjani.  link, link

— The Anonymous Iran website has a fascinating dialogue on the event and its possible significance which is highly recommended reading. This could indeed be the day the worm turned. link

— Rafsanjani speech link, link

— Ahmadinejad speech link

— Sadeq Larijani speech link,

— Ali Larijani speech link

Mehdi Karoubi’s newspaper Etemad-e Melli was “temporarily” shut down by the authorities. Whether this was linked to his sexual abuse allegations, or to plans he tried to stop for a demonstration outside today is unclear. In the event there were clashes outside the newspaper as people protested the closure. link, link

French academic Clotilde Reiss was freed on bail to stay at the French embassy in Tehran pending the verdict in her spying trial. link

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